Illini Stories: Laura DeBruler

August 24, 2012

All-American athlete Laura DeBruler received donor tissue which allows her to continue playing the game that she loves.
Photo courtesy of the Daily Illini

Laura DeBruler is a decorated athlete and currently the volunteer assistant volleyball coach at the University of Illinois. In 2009, DeBruler was named a First-Team All-American volleyball player in her junior year.  Unfortunately, her career was cut short midway through her senior season when she tore her ACL in a match against the University of Michigan.  Laura continued to have knee issues even after the ACL was repaired. It was then that doctors told DeBruler that she needed donor tissue to reconstruct her knee. “As a result of my injury, I needed donor tissue to fill a nickle-sized hole in my cartilage. Now, because someone said ‘Yes’ to organ and tissue donation, I hope to get back on the court and enjoy the game that I love.”

Help Gift of Hope and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign set the Guinness World Record for most organ donor registrations in a day. You can stop by the Gift of Hope booth on the Quad on August 26th or you can register online TODAY at

-Josh Muller, PR/Marketing Coordinator with Gift of Hope


Illini Stories: Professor Brian Quick

August 23, 2012

U of I professor Brian Quick with his father.

Brian Quick is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication and the College of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Quick is an advocate for organ and tissue donation and has served as the principle investigator for several federal grants focused on increasing donor designation rates. But, he also has a very personal connection to organ and tissue donation.  In 1992, his father received a lifesaving kidney transplant. “Organ donation, for me, is very personal.” Quick continues, “Had my father not received a kidney transplant, he would never have seen me graduate from high school or college. He would have never met my wife or my two boys.”

Help Gift of Hope and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign set the Guinness World Record for most organ donor registrations in a day.  You can stop by the Gift of Hope booth on the Quad on August 26th or you can register online TODAY at

-Josh Muller, PR/Marketing Coordinator with Gift of Hope

2012 Morgan D’Organ Summer Tour

June 8, 2012

Hello Friends!

It’s Morgan D’Organ, your favorite liver mascot, here to let you know about my statewide tour to promote organ and tissue donation! This is my FAVORITE time of year. I get to meet thousands of Illinoisans at fairs, festivals and concerts with the goal of building awareness for donation and encouraging people to become lifesaving organ and tissue donors.

Last year was amazing (more than 3,700 people said “Yes” to donation at our events), but I have a feeling that 2012 will be even better. Here’s a list of where you can find me, Mr. Morgan D’Organ, throughout the summer:

  • Saturday, June 9thBrad Paisley Concert at Wrigley Field
  • Friday, June 22ndStrawberry Days in Long Grove
  • Sunday, June 24thSugarland Concert in Tinley Park
  • Saturday, June 30thOakfest in Oak Forest
  • Friday, June 29thNaperville Ribfest in Naperville
  • Saturday, July 7thKenny Chesney Concert at Soldier Field
  • Friday, July 13thLoopFest at Toyota Park
  • Wednesday, July 25thDuPage County Fair in Wheaton
  • Thursday, July 26thFiesta Del Sol in Chicago
  • Saturday, July 28thRascal Flatts Concert in Tinley Park
  • Saturday, August 18thJason Aldean Concert in Tinley Park
  • Friday, August 18thUrbana Sweet Corn Festival in Urbana
  • Sunday, August 26thQuad Day at University of Illinois
  • Thursday, August 30thOn the Waterfront in Rockford
  • Friday, August 31stNaperville Last Fling in Naperville
  • September 14th & 15thNASCAR Weekend at Chicago Speedway
  • Friday, September 28thLong Grove Apple Festival
  • Friday, October 5thScarecrow Festival in St. Charles

If you’re at any of these events, stop by the Gift of Hope tent to say “Hello”, take a picture and receive a FREE Gift of Hope drawstring bag!

You can follow the tour on the Gift of Hope Facebook page where we’ll post pictures and updates from across the state. Also, follow Gift of Hope on Twitter (@GiftofHope), which I occasionally take over to share news and updates from the road.

I’m ready to hit the road!

See you soon!

Your Friend, Morgan D’Organ

Donate Life Illinois Featured in “I Am Hope” Campaign

February 24, 2012

Next week, Donate Life Illinois will be featured in the national “I Am Hope” campaign. The “I Am Hope” initiative is part of Donate Life America’s “20 Million in 2012” campaign focused on registering 20 million Americans as organ and tissue donors in 2012.  Each state (plus Washington, DC and Puerto Rico) has been assigned a week of the year to feature seven local inspiring stories, one for each day of the week.

“I Am Hope” Video from Donate Life America

From Sunday February 26 to Saturday March 3, Donate Life America will feature stories from Illinois. We will be sharing stories of donation experiences from Illinois with Donate Life America and its Donate Life partners throughout the country.

Check the Donate Life Illinois Facebook Fan Page to view our “I Am Hope” stories next week!

Show Some Love for Organ and Tissue Donation

February 14, 2012

Supporters of organ and tissue donation are some of the most passionate and energetic advocates around. This Valentine’s Day, let’s focus that passion and energy on “showing some love for organ and tissue donation.” How can we show our love for donation? It’s simple . . . just follow these steps:

  1. If you haven’t done so already, take 30 seconds to register your decision to save lives through organ/tissue donation at
  2. Let others know that you’re a registered donor! Tweet and post about why you support organ/tissue donation. Not a social media fan? No problem! Tell ten co-workers, friends, or family members about why you support organ/tissue donation and why they should register at
  3. Become a Donate Life Illinois volunteer. Learn more about the Donate Life Illinois Volunteer Program at!
  4. Advocate for organ/tissue donation in the community and in your workplace. Encourage your employer to participate in the Donate Life Illinois Workplace Partners Campaign. Or, if you’re still in school, organize a Campus Campaign that will encourage your fellow students to register as organ/tissue donors!

Thanks for all of your love! Let us know how you “showed your love for donation” by posting on the Donate Life Illinois Facebook Page or tweet at us @DonateLifeIL!

Illinois Partners with Donate Life America to Register 20 Million in 2012

January 11, 2012

We need your help to register 20 million Americans as organ and tissue donors in 2012!

Jessica Melore celebrated her 30th birthday on January 4, a milestone she wasn’t sure she’d live to experience. At 16, Jessica received a lifesaving heart transplant. Her story of hope and survival helps to launch Donate Life America’s bold new initiative: “20 Million in 2012.

Donate Life America — the national organization promoting organ, eye and tissue donation in the United States – designed its “20 Million in 2012” initiative to focus on dramatically increasing the number of people registered in state donor registries. This official launch of the campaign comes on the heels of DLA’s announcement during the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena  where it has sponsored the Donate Life float each year since 2004. This year’s float again featured inspirational stories of organ donors and their families, a tradition that the “20 Million in 2012” campaign will continue as it features powerful stories of people affected by organ, eye and tissue donation.

“I am so proud to be a part of the campaign’s “I am HOPE” storytelling project,” says Melore. “Real-life stories like mine often inspire people to sign up to be organ, eye and tissue donors.”

By registering your decision to be an organ and tissue donor, you can give hope to more than 112,000 Americans—more than 5,000 Illinoisans—waiting for lifesaving transplants. “We are committed to saving and enhancing as many lives as possible through organ and tissue donation,” says David Bosch, Director of Communications for Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network, which coordinates organ and tissue donation in Illinois and northwest Indiana. “Nearly 6 million Illinois residents have registered their decisions to save and enhance lives through organ and tissue donation. In 2012, we hope to inspire and motivate thousands more to make this ordinary decision that can produce extraordinary results.”

Gift of Hope and other Donate Life Illinois coalition members will support the “20 Million in 2012” campaign’s four featured national events:

  • The Donate Life Flash Mob on March 24
  • Donate Life Blue and Green Virtual Fashion Show on April 20
  • Donate Life Champions in Fall 2012
  • Donate Life Linking Hands for Life being held all year long

For more information about the “20 Million in 2012” campaign, visit To register your decision to be an organ and tissue donor in Illinois, visit

An Invitation to Save Lives

November 22, 2011

Photo by D Sharon Pruitt

Next week, our friends at Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network will start a new project to reach potential organ and tissue donors. They are “inviting” residents in Edgar, Greene and Brown counties to join the Illinois Organ/Tissue Donor Registry and help save lives through organ and tissue donation.

Over the next few weeks, residents of these counties will receive one of two direct mail pieces asking them to save lives by taking just 30 seconds to register as donors. One is designed to look like a party invitation and features Luke, a huggable young boy waiting for a liver transplant. The other looks like a thank-you card and features Drew, a cute little guy who’s now living an active life thanks to the heart transplant he received.

Gift of Hope chose Edgar, Greene and Brown counties for the direct mail campaign because of their manageable sizes and relatively low registration rates. For example, only of 47 percent of Edgar County residents have registered as donors compared with the statewide average of nearly 58 percent. We hope this direct mail campaign will help build awareness and register organ and tissue donors in each of these counties.

Here’s a look at the direct mail pieces being used for the campaign. Let us know what you think of them by leaving a message on our Facebook page. And if you’d like to see how your county’s donor registration rate compares with the statewide average, visit the interactive map posted on

Register your decision to save lives through organ and tissue donation at!

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